I hate to admit it but I have a nemesis. I have had for about 15 years. I know it sounds petty but I really just don’t like anything about her. Well, truly I don’t like anything about her and her whole family. It started when our children were young. Everything I had or my children did, she and her children would one up us. She would throw birthday parties or slumber parties for kids both of our children would hang around and purposefully exclude my kids. She made big productions out of small accomplishments all over social media when ANYTHING happened in her family. Just saying it out loud sounds childish on my part, yet she really gets under my skin. I know it is because she this family caused lots of hurt to my family and that is why I still can’t stand her. You know it is a mother bear thing. Now our kids are grown and still the very mention of her name makes my skin crawl. All the old advice of just ignore her or why do you still care or your anger only hurts you is true. I know it! I am tired of holding this grudge and really want to release it but it is hard. Any suggestions?
Negative Nemesis, Indiana
Hey Negative Nemesis!
First thing is first…. You are not alone and you are human. It is almost 100% likely that everyone has someone that just annoys the #$@& out of them. If I were to be honest, I have one and I am pretty sure she doesn’t like the sight of me either. TBH it really used to bother me. Like you, it was a whole family thing with perceived competition and hurt feelings flying all around our earthly space and the virtual world of social media. How much time I wasted thinking about this. It sounds like you are feeling the same way and are ready to be done
Still advice is only good advice if you take it. Otherwise it is well intended ideas that never get enacted. I heard a man say that anger bleeds. The wound is real and the results of this hurt spill out into other areas of your life. It reminded me of a parenting device I used with my children. I pierced a an orange with a nail and told them that this was to represent a hurtful action that someone had done. As people, we say we are sorry and remove the proverbial nail. The hole however remains. A few days later we revisited the orange and the hole was now shriveled and the area around it was rotten. I explained that just because you say you are sorry doesn’t mean that everything is fixed. It is up to us to try to not hurt others and leave hole in others’ hearts. The sad part is not everyone thinks like that and the sadder part is even though we try toy not hurt others we inevitably will in our lifetime.
All that to say this, you are human. You hurt and most likely have some wounds from this person that are still healing. I could say talk it out with that person or just ignore them but sometimes that truly is futile. Some people just don’t like each other and that is OK! What isn’t okay is to let this invade other areas of your life. Don’t give it more power than it deserves. Recognize this for what is… an annoyance. Use it for teachable moments with others and yourself if you can. But mostly, allow yourself time to heal and try to give it perspective. You cannot change the actions of others but you can change your own. Keep working at it. It really does get better when you realize the power you have to heal yourself.
Here’s to a hole free orange in your life!